Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Adventures Through The World Of Hamilton

Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about the life of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution. This musical has lyrics, music, and a book written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by renowned historian, Ron Chernow. The musical made its Off-Broadway debut in February 2015, where it was sold out. Hamilton quickly transferred to Broadway in August 2015. On Broadway, Hamilton received enthusiastic critical acclaim. In 2016, the musical was nominated for a record setting 16 Tony Awards. Overall, Hamilton won 11 including Best Musical. Hamilton was also the winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

As many people know, I love Hamilton, but this was not always the case. In fact, the first time I heard about this musical I scoffed and assumed it was terrible. "A hip-hop musical about American history?" I thought this seemed like a delusional proposal. However, now I know I couldn't have been more wrong! I wondered how this musical could possibly be so successful, so I decided to do my research. I listened to the original cast recording and suddenly I was helpless.

Although I now love and understand the music and history of Hamilton, I was not always as educated on the subject of this brilliant Broadway musical. The first time I listened to the recording I was a bit underwhelmed and confused. Without the benefit of seeing the actors it was hard for me to get a good understanding of what was going on. However, I kept listening and very soon I got a sense of a story unfolding. Alexander Hamilton starts off as a tough-lucked orphan in the Caribbean. He finds his way to New York, where he discovers a rival named Aaron Burr. He also meets a group of friends and becomes tangled within the twists and turns of the American Revolution. Rapidly, Alexander Hamilton began to climb and create a name for himself. It is an appealing story which keeps the listener/viewer engaged.

Now that I understand the history of Alexander Hamilton through this spectacular musical, it is crystal clear to me why Hamilton has taken the world by storm. Hamilton teaches a history lesson, but it makes you laugh and cry along the way. Every song from Hamilton's swaggering self-introduction in "My Shot" to Eliza's ballad of betrayal in "Burn" is filled to the brim with emotion. What is your opinion of Hamilton?

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